Friday, January 21, 2011

An atheist answers a creationist's concerns.

I met a creationist online. He says "atheism" cannot answer any of the below. So I'll answer them.

-Why I Am here.

You are here because you are lucky enough to live on a very unlikely planet where very unlikely life evolved in quite an unlikely manner to the point that it became conscious of the fact and considered it. How exciting!

-Why does the universe exist instead of not existing.

I haven't figured out how to ask the universe questions. However, I'm glad it does exist, otherwise I wouldn't be here to think of it in the first place!

-The difference between right and wrong.

Socrates first asked this question a long time ago. Here's a new version: "Is it good because God likes it, or does God like it because it's good?" Now, if something is good because God says so, then stomping the skulls of newborn babies would be good if God said he liked it. Most of us, however, inherently know that such an act is bad. Some would suggest that God would never say he liked such a thing. But that would only prove God would never like it because it is evil inherently. God says he likes things that are good inherently. So God has nothing to do with what makes it good.

Good values, like cooperation, have obvious evolutionary benefits that allowed us to develop as a species. "Survival of the fittest" does not apply to individual, but to the whole species. For us to survive collectively, we need a basic understanding of the difference between right and wrong, so we can make the right decisions and improve our quality of life.

Unfortunately, some religious people don't understand the difference between right and wrong, using their beliefs to avoid having a concern for something like our planet's environment. In such a case, religion works against what is right.

-Why Humans are so much different than any animals in their capacity for reaon, logic, communication, learning and desires.

We have evolved to the most sophisticated form of life on the planet due to the process of natural selection.

-Why is there evil in the world.

Because some people are assholes. Hopefully, they weed themselves from the gene pool. (Religion has brought a fair share of evil, too...)

-What happens when I die.

You rot and decompose.

-What is beauty.

That which is the proper focus of awe.

-What is love.

A human emotion that helps build stable families, communities, societies.

-What is forgiveness.

A decision not to hold the past against someone in the future. (Really, I'm starting to wonder if this guy needs a dictionary instead of a bible...)

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